Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Psychology of Security

Bruce Schneier, of Crypto-Gram fame, has written an essay (available in HTML and PDF) "exploring how psychology can help explain the difference between the feeling of security and the reality of security."

Most people don't understand the significance of the psychological aspects of how we treat the world around us. Security is one area that is especially miscast in the minds of people. The example of flying vs driving is probably the most obvious. The odds of you dying in a plane crash are astronomically smaller than being killed in a car crash. But people who are afraid to fly think nothing of jumping in the car and driving downtown.

The magnitude that psychology impacts how secure we truly are can not be understated. From personal security all the way up to national/global security, how safe we are might very well be based on incorrect assumptions that are, in fact, preventing real security measures from being implemented.

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